Fans are wondering whether there were some secrets in Wales vs Slovakia match. Who performed the best goals? What did players say in the end? You’ll find all the answers right here!
After waiting more than 50 years to return to the main tournament, Wales got a thrilling victory. That made it the best possible start in UEFA Euro 2016. It was a dramatic match that changed one way and then the other, before Robson-Kanu, who has no contract with Reading now, become a real hero with his beautiful winning goal.
Introduced as a second half replacement, at the time when the Wales game was in a huge danger after Slovakian Ondrej Duda came out to equalize the score with a first touch, Robson-Kanu steered a left-footed shot. The field was impressed and amazed so much that there began huge celebrations. It was only the third Robson-Kanu’s international goal. And what is extremely important there were only nine minutes before the end of the match. Could this game have been planned better? I think not.
It was Joe Ledley, who, unfortunately, broke his leg about five weeks ago. He was involved in the build-up of the defining moments of the match, it only added some satisfaction to Wales. Bale threw back his head and roared into the sky. However, at the end of such an absorbing football game the players of Chris Coleman were looking emotionally and physically exhausted.
Bale, as always, played for his country, but it was not the day when it was all about the most expensive footballer in the world. Real Madrid striker scored a superb free-kick and put Wales ahead. In the second half he had a powerful header saved. However, Bale was out of the game for long periods. He was on the periphery, isolated in attack. So in 20-minute period at the beginning of the second half, Slovakia took a control of the game.
The excellent Hamsik was becoming more and more influential, so Wales was unable to save possession. And after Coleman’s decision to bring Ledley, Robson-Kanu’s coming out was extremely important, not only in terms of the contribution to the needed winning goal, but also and not less important, to break the rhythm of the Slovakian game.
The historic day for Wales had something else that happened during those substitutions and it captured the mood of everyone. In order to help their team the 25,000 Wales fans (inside the stadium) burst into the national anthem. No wonder, later Bale said that he felt like they had a home game for Wales.
It was a good occasion for Danny Ward. He is 22-year-old Liverpool goalkeeper who was called up to the team before the game, just after Wayne Hennessey was forced to withdraw after suffering a back spasm. Danny had his Wales debut this March. He have never joint a game for his country. But he has the right to be proud of his performance.
Wales felt they did enough to deserve a break. After an extremely nervous beginning, when Hamsik ran through the Wales defense and almost made a brilliant individual goal, Coleman’s team started to move the ball with quite more belief and dived into the game.
Bale's goal was very beautiful. Matos Kozachik, the goalkeeper of Slovakia, lined up walls, but made the huge fatal mistake taking a small step to his left, as well as Bale began to run-up, leaving a hole on the other side of the gate. Bale hit the ball in that area, and although it was not in the corner, Kozachik had too much space between him and a ball, so he didn’t manage to prevent a goal.
Wales were unsatisfied they didn’t have a chance to double their lead with a penalty when Martin Skrtel, trying ‘to kick’ the ball out of the game, hit Johnny Williams in the face. The incident was unpunished, unlike the poor protection of Duda in order to equalize the score after he came out.
Hal Robson-Kanu changed the rhythm of the game. He performed a beautiful goal, which impressed all the fans. Wales was in a real dreamland. The game was special because it was about a belief. Wales wanted and needed this victory so much.
However, sleepy ’home’ fans continued to miss Wales huge historical victory. 2-1: Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu helped their county to get the first victory in a major final for more than five decades.
Unfortunately, Wales still cannot be called a dream team. However, they believe in themselves, work hard, have a real football spirit. Maybe that was why they won this time. Or it was only luck? We’ll find out in the next matches!
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